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Section 6 - Safety in the home

We take the health and safety of our customers very seriously

We are committed to ensuring you have a home that is safe for you and for any areas you share with other customers.

  • Safety in the Home - Gas Safety

    Gas safety

    Around 40 people die in the UK every year from carbon monoxide poisoning due to faulty gas appliances. By law we must service communal (shared) gas heating systems and appliances every 12 months to keep them safe.

    Gas safety checks

    You are responsible for the safety of all gas appliances in your home and are required to have them serviced annually by a suitably qualified and competent Gas Safe registered contractor; checks are made for appliance condition and service piping, any gas leakages and levels of carbon monoxide. Please be advised that it is a serious breach of the lease not to comply with this requirement.

    All works relating to gas appliances must be carried out by a qualified and competent,

    Gas Safe registered contractor. On completion of any work, the contractor MUST complete a short report using recognised certificates/records. When work on a gas appliance is carried out, the contractor should also immediately examine:

    • The effectiveness of any flue (chimney)
    • The supply of combustion air
    • The operating pressure or heat input or, where necessary, both
    • The operation of the appliance to ensure its safe

    Trent & Dove Housing offer a free safety check, but remember, you are still responsible for any repairs to the appliance and the installation in general, that might be identified at the time of the safety check. The safety check is not a service of the installations. You must arrange to have all gas appliances serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered contractor.

    Gas leaks are very serious and require immediate attention. If you can smell gas or have any suspicion that gas is leaking, follow these simple steps:

    • Put out cigarettes, turn off gas cookers and fires and anything with a naked flame
    • Turn off the main gas supply. The main gas on/off lever can be found next to your gas meter
    • Open all windows and doors. This will allow any gas that has built up in your home to disperse
    • Do not turn on any lights or sockets or light any matches
    • Do not use a phone or Using a light switch or other electrical appliance might generate a spark, which could ignite any escaped gas in the air
    • Call National Gas Emergency Service immediately on: 0800 111 999 from outside the property.


  • How to prevent CO poisoning

    You should have your heating system (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually by a “Gas Safe” registered contractor. The contractor should also check chimneys and flues for blockages, corrosion, partial and complete disconnections and loose connections.

    • Always use a Gas Safe registered contractor to fit and service your gas cooker and appliances
    • Make sure appliances are installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and gas regulations
    • Never block air vents on an appliance
    • Never use an appliance if you think it may not be working properly
    • Never block outside grills, flues or airbrick
    • Never sleep in rooms that have a gas back boiler
    • Never burn charcoal or fuel-burning camping equipment inside your home, garage, vehicle or tent
    • Never leave a car running in a garage even with the garage door open
    • Never operate un-vented, fuel- burning appliances in any room with closed doors or windows or in any room where people are sleeping
    • Do not use petrol powered tools or engines indoors
    • Install CO detector/alarms. Make sure the detectors are not covered by furniture or curtains.
  • Electrical Safety

    We recommend that you have an electrical safety check carried out once every five years. Always keep a torch handy and know where your fuse box and main switch is located.

    All electrical alterations in your home must be carried out by a competent person who will give you a certificate to say that the work has been tested.

    How you can help to reduce the risk of fire from faulty electrical appliances and installations:

    • Switch off all electrical appliances that are not in use
    • Turn off and disconnect televisions at night
    • Make sure plugs are wired correctly and checked regularly for damaged or loose cables
    • Do not overload sockets when using adaptor plugs and do not wire more than one appliance into each plug
    • Do not run cables under carpets or rugs as this can cause over-heating and fires
    • Avoid using extension cables wherever possible
    • Never touch switches with damp or wet hands and never take electrical appliances into the bathroom
    • Ensure all electrical appliances are regularly checked by a qualified electrician and only used in accordance with the manufacturer’s
  • Fire safety

    Around 400 people die every year in house fires in the UK. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by following a few simple precautions:

    To reduce the risk of fire:

    • Never leave a chip pan on the cooker unattended
    • Do not leave candles unattended
    • Keep matches and lighters away from children
    • Don’t overload electrical power points
    • Never smoke in bed. Empty ashtrays last thing at night; making sure nothing is still burning
    • Make sure all open fires are guarded and never allow anything to come into contact with portable electric fires
    • Do not use portable gas heaters
    • Communal halls, corridors, stairs or balconies must be kept Do not store personal items such as bikes and pushchairs in these areas
    • Don’t wedge open fire doors
    • Close all doors at night and keep fire doors shut. Install smoke alarms and test them regularly
    • Ensure that you know where the keys are to any locked windows and doors
    • Discuss an escape route with your family and make sure that your children know what to do in case of fire. Teach them how to make a 999 call and give their address. 
  • If there is a fire in your home

    If there is a fire in your home:

    • Alert everyone in your home and get everyone together
    • Stay calm and leave quickly by the safest route
    • Don’t collect valuables or possessions as this could cost you your life
    • Close all doors and windows behind you if you can
    • Dial 999 and ask for the Fire

    If you are trapped in your home because of a fire, close all windows and doors and use a damp cloth to seal the bottom of the door to stop smoke from coming in.

    If the room starts to fill with smoke, stay as close to the floor as possible and cover your mouth with a damp cloth, taking short breaths.

    If there is a fire and you could have prevented it, you may have to pay to put right the damage in your home.

    Smoke detectors

    Buying and fitting a smoke detector and alarm will give you and your family precious extra minutes in the event of a fire.

    • You should test your smoke alarm weekly by pressing the test button firmly until the alarm sounds. If it doesn’t sound, change the battery as soon as possible and retest the alarm
    • You should vacuum the dust off your smoke alarm at least once a year and wipe the cover. Always test it after you’ve cleaned it.
  • Fires in blocks of flats

    The walls and doors between flats, stairs and corridors have been specially designed and constructed to resist fire, stop the spread of smoke and keep the building safe.

    You can help to prevent fires:

    • Keeping communal halls, stairs, corridors and balconies clear and free from personal items / rubbish etc
    • Keeping fire doors closed
    • Keep access/escape routes

    If a fire starts:

    • Stay calm; unless the fire is in your flat, it is usually safe for you to stay there unless a fire officer tells you to leave
    • Pack the bottom of your door with a damp cloth to prevent smoke getting into your flat
    • If you are advised to leave your flat – DO NOT use a lift
    • Don’t return to your home until the fire service tells you it is safe to do
  • Burst and frozen pipes

    An uncontrolled escape of water can cause extensive damage to your home and your personal possessions. It may even reach your neighbours’ properties causing damage to their homes and belongings. Many reported burst pipes are caused by them becoming frozen during periods of cold weather.

    By taking some simple precautions, you could avoid this happening to you.

    To help prevent burst pipes in cold weather:

    • Try to keep your home sufficiently warm at all times, even when you are not there, by leaving the heating on a low setting
    • Make sure you know where your stopcock is and that you can turn off the main water supply if you need to
    • If you have an outside tap, make sure it is If it has a separate stopcock, turn it off over the winter period.

    If your pipes freeze or burst you should:

    • Turn off the main stopcock
    • Switch off your immersion heater if you have one
    • Switch off your heating and hot water system
    • Turn on all your taps to drain off as much water as possible
    • Try to find out where the water is coming from and contain it if possible by putting rags or a bucket under it
    • Report the problem to us if communal areas are affected, or the damage affects other property owned or let by Trent & Dove.

    It is important that you do not use your lights if water is dripping through a light fitting.

  • Condensation

    Condensation is the most common cause of damp and mould in homes. Cooking, bathing and washing and drying clothes indoors are all common causes of condensation, which happens when there is too much moisture in the air. How you ventilate and heat your home affects the level of condensation.

    You can prevent condensation by keeping your home heated and well ventilated, and by closing the kitchen or bathroom door when you are cooking, washing or bathing.

    Here are some other, easy steps that you can take to reduce or prevent condensation occurring in your home.


    • Use lids on boiling pots and pans
    • Dry washing outside
    • Vent a tumble drier to the outside of the house (unless it is a self-condensing type)
    • Keep a small window or vent open when there is moisture in a room.
    • Allow space for air to circulate around your furniture
    • Close doors so that moist air does not spread through your home.
    • Increase ventilation when cooking, washing up, bathing or drying clothes by using extractor fans (where these are fitted) or opening windows
    • Leave the heating on low all the time during colder weather
    • Try to heat the whole house including rooms that you do not use regularly
    • Open cupboard and wardrobe doors to help keep them Try not to overfill them as this stops the air circulating
    • Where possible, position freestanding cupboards or wardrobes against internal walls.


    • Leave kettles boiling or use pots and pans without lids
    • Use paraffin and portable gas heaters
    • Block permanent vents
    • Fit additional draught proofing in rooms which have condensation or mould problems, or where there is a fuel-burning cooker
    • Fit additional draught proofing to windows in the kitchen or bathroom.


  • Damp

    Damp forms when a fault in the structure of the building lets water in from outside. The usual signs of damp are mould, a musty smell and, in some cases, tide marks and wet patches on the wall or ceiling.

    There are two types of damp:

    • Penetrating damp – water comes in through the walls or roof. This may be due to cracks in the plaster or loose roof tiles
    • Rising damp – problems with the building’s damp proof (Most properties have a damp-proof course, a membrane built into the outside walls to stop moisture from the ground rising through the flat. You can help to prevent rising damp by ensuring your damp-proof course is not covered by soil).

    If you notice damp or mould, check that this is not caused by condensation by thinking about the tips in the section above. If making changes suggested does not improve the damp then report the issue to us and we can check for water penetration.

  • Door entry systems

    Door entry systems are generally found in blocks of flats with communal entrances. They increase security and control who has access to the flats.

    You can operate the main external door simply by pressing the door entry button in your flat.

    We’ll give you a communal door key (sometimes called a fob) when you buy your property and we will show you how the system works. Contact us on 01283 528528 if you need a replacement key – although you may have to pay for this.

    The communal door should be kept locked at all times and should never be propped open as it causes a security risk.

    If you notice a fault with the door entry system you should report it immediately to us. Phone us on 01283 528528.

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